JoAnna Garcia Swisher on Sweet Magnolias' Runaway Success: "It's Been a Very Bright Spot"
JoAnna Garcia Swisher loves Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias just as much as we do.
“In the midst of all the difficult things we’re experiencing right now, it’s been a very bright spot,” the Florida-born actress who plays Maddie Townsend told Southern Living.
The show, which is based on the books of the same name by Sherryl Woods, is a tale of friendship, family, and romance set in the fictional South Carolina town of Serenity. It debuted on May 19 and managed to hold onto Netflix’s coveted #1 spot through Memorial Day Weekend. Weeks later, its hold on audiences continues to grow.
Swisher, who you might recall played Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery on Reba for six years, said she is blown away by the success of the show.
“It’s been so great to be able to bring something to people that lifts them up,” she said. “But it’s also real and relatable. Yes, it is based in a small town, and there are so many wholesome themes that I’m very proud of, but it also honors so many people and experiences.”
“Things are sticky, things are messy,” Swisher continued. “But even with Bill and Noreen, there is a humanity in the way those characters are depicted. That combination allows for a very human point of view.”
The seasoned actress admitted that there’s a lot that goes into the success of a show, which makes it nearly impossible to predict what will be a hit. But, when it comes to the runaway success of Sweet Magnolias, Swisher said she thinks it has a lot to do with the natural chemistry between cast members.
“I adore them,” she says of Brooke Elliot (Dana Sue Sullivan) and Heather Headley (Helen Decatur). “The margarita nights were my favorite scenes to shoot. There’s a real comfort and history between us. I can’t explain it, but it comes across.”
As for the questions on everyone’s mind regarding the show’s gut-wrenching cliffhanger and the possibility of a season two, Swisher said she’s just as in the dark as we are. (Warning: spoiler ahead!)
“I’ve been trying to get answers,” she admitted. “I called Sherryl [Woods] and told her ‘you better not put two of my kids in that car!’”
And in terms of another season, Swisher said she feels optimistic. “I hope Netflix gives us that opportunity. People really want to do the show again for so many reasons. There’s a lot of desire to continue it.”